Fitness Trackers for Swimming

Fitness Trackers for Swimming

Swimming is one of the most popular exercises around the world and it is also one of the best all round exercises you can do.

Not only is it a fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise, but due to the fact that water is much more resistant than air going for a swim is also a great form of resistance training. For this reason, it is a great way to meet your fitness goals including muscle toning, weight loss and general all round fitness.

And, if that wasn’t enough you also get the added benefit that anything you do in the pool or water has minimal impact on your joints so it’s a great way to keep active for people of all ages.

Many people, including myself try to incorporate swimming into their fitness routine. You venture down to your local pool at a time when there are no kids and attempt to get a certain number of lengths in. It’s great fun and I love to do it. The problem is I always lose count of what length I’m on. It can be a bit frustrating.

So I started to wonder if I could find any waterproof fitness trackers that would help me record my swimming pool session which I could also use to measure my progress over time.

Is there a waterproof fitness tracker?

When I first started to look waterproof fitness trackers were something of a rarity and often needed third party companies to add waterproof capabilities to your tracker. Because water and electronics are a notoriously bad combination it has been a slow burn.
However, it seems like manufacturers are putting more and more into research and development and there are significantly more water resistant (nothing is officially waterproof) trackers are coming to the market all the time; Fitbit, Apple, Garmin and Samsung now all offer water resistant fitness trackers.

Using a fitness tracker for swimming

Making a water resistant tracker is one thing but making it so it can track your swim is another. Because it is technically challenging to use accelerometers to accurately identify all the different movements, strokes and techniques which are intrinsic to swimming it has taken a while to catch up with trackers for other activities like running.

Manufacturers have been required to closely examine various swimming styles and swimmers to generate millions of data points which have then been incorporated into the algorithms so that we now have trackers capable of identifying swimming specifics such as stroke types, lengths and flips.

What makes a fitness tracker suitable for swimming?

If you want to use a fitness tracker in the pool you should make sure it has been designated as suitable for swimming by the manufacturer. You also need to check the IP rating which gives an indication of how well the tracker stands up to dust and water. Our recommendation for a swimming tracker is a rating of at least IP68

IP rating

I stands for Ingress and the P stands for Protection – a 2 digit number which is a measure of how much protection is offered from foreign object like dust (the first number) and water (the second number).
For example an IP68 watch would be seen to be dust tight and protected for complete submersion in the water. Be sure to check out this article if you are curious about IP ratings.

Water resistance

Officially, you are not allowed to say that a watch is waterproof. Instead watches are measured again an international standard ISO 22810:2010 which is used to determine how water resistant a watch is.

To get the rating each manufacturer has to perform a series of tests.

The manufacturer placing the watch in a pressurised chamber for around 10 minutes. Each chamber is pressurised using a measurement know as ATMs; 1 ATM = 10 meter. So if a water resistant fitness tracker can survive at 3 ATM it is said to be water resistant to 30 metres.

However, these tests are a bit like the MPG tests on a car they are performed in near perfect conditions and might not be indicative of real world conditions. A fitness tracker with a rating of 4 ATM and above will be good for swimming in a pool.

How can you use a fitness tracker for swimming?

Setting up drills with rest periods

Some of the more advanced watches like the Garmin Forerunner 735XT allow you to set up the tracker to do intervals. You can set it up simply so that you press a button after so many laps and you will get a pre-defined period of rest. Or, you can set it up to repeat at a fixed time. The idea behind the fixed time is that the faster you swim the more rest you get. For example, if you want to swim 4 x 25 metres every 2:15 it will repeat every 2 minutes 15 seconds. If you manage to do it in 2 minutes you will get 15 seconds rest, 1 minutes 45 you will get 30 minutes rest and so on. The idea being the faster you are the more rest you get.

Tracking your stats and measuring progress

One of the main reasons to get a waterproof fitness tracker is to see how you are doing in meeting your swimming goals and pushing you on to greater and better things. For example you might be asking

  1. Am I any better than last time?
  2. How long can I swim without a break? Has it gone up?
  3. Is my lap time for this stroke in this pool improving?

And of course there are many more that you could come up with tailored specifically to your personal needs.

What can be tracked?

Every watch differs and you will need to decide what mix of functionality you think is best suited.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is good to use for comparisons. Most fitness trackers you would use when you go for a swim should include some or all of the following:-

  • Heart rate
  • Distance
  • Pace
  • Laps swam
  • Time / swim duration
  • Flip / turn time
  • Stroke type using automatic stroke detection
  • SWOLF (swim golf)

Useful metrics

  • Continuous swim – how far you can swim without a break. The aim is to improve this measurement as your endurance, technique and stamina get better. A great way to see how you have improved.
  • SWOLF – short for Swim Golf it is calculated by adding together the number of strokes per length and the time it took to finish the length. So for example, in a 25 metre pool a length that takes 30 strokes in 25 seconds would be a SWOLF of 55 (30 + 25).
    The general principle is the lower the score the more efficient you are.Ergo, improvement in SWOLF means you are getting more efficient at the stroke.
    The best way to use SWOLF is to compare yourself against your current SWOLF score for different stoke types and track how you are progressing.

Downsides of fitness trackers you can swim with

It is fair to say that making a decent swim ready fitness tracker is not an easy task. Introducing the element of water makes components not work as they do on dry land. For example, touch screens really struggle to interpret whether a drop of water or a touch. The way most manufacturers have got round this is by introducing a screen lock.

Other problems arise if you are keen on measuring your heart rate whilst you are in the water. The current generation of optical heart rate trackers don’t really cope well, which means you will probably need to get a separate heart rate monitor like this one from Moov.

Apps and websites to track your swimming data

As more trackers became capable of tracking swimming it became natural to want to be able to record swims and track progress. Hey, if the runners can have it why can’t the swimmers.

  • My Swim Pro load the My Swim Pro app on to a compatible tracker and you can load up training plans specific to your needs and monitor your progress against them.
  • Speedo On – synching with your Garmin, Apple Watch 2, Misfit Shine, Samsung Gear Sport or Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro tracker. The platform allows you to log and analyse swims, communicate with fellow swimmers and set-up and follow training plans

What type of swimming tracker should I get?

If you are interested in purchasing a fitness tracker we did write up a bit more on the best waterproof fitness trackers here.

Are you a swimmer, do you have any recommendations on the best waterproof fitness tracker for swimming? If so, please leave a comment below.

What Size Fitness Tracker Should You Buy

Getting the correct size of tracker for your wrist is important. You want the tracker to fit so that if it measures accurately and features like an optical heart rate monitor work effectively. Equally, you don’t want it so loose that you are in danger of it falling off or getting lost. In this post we hope to help you get the right size for you.

In general, you want the fitness tracker to sit flat on your wrist. Most manufacturers provide a sizing guide or you can use a piece of string to measure your wrist and buy the appropriate one for your wrist size. There’s a photo above showing what a good fit should look like. Of course, some people like to wear watches and bands a little looser. It’s a personal choice.

Getting the correct tracker for your wrist size

Where to wear

If you want the tracker to measure your sleep the chances are that you will be wearing it all the time. As such it is really important to get a comfortable fit. In general, you want to wear your fitness tracker as you would a normal watch, which means it needs to be worn around 1-3 finger widths from your wrist bone and lay flat.

What size do I need

Wrist size

The key to getting the best fit is wrist size. Below we have listed average wrist sizes at various ages to give you a guide.

AgeAverage wrist size (inches)Average wrist size (cm)
18 months old4.511.5
> 5 < 7 years old615
> 9 < 12 years old6.5 – 716.5 – 18
> 13 < 19 years old7 – 7.518 – 19
> 19 years old7.519

Of course these are just averages. Numerous factors can mean these are way off and it makes much more sense to measure your own wrist.
There are 2 sensible ways in which this can be done

1) Manufacturer sizing guide

If you have in mind the manufacturer of your fitness tracker they sometimes provide a handy sizing tool. You then use these to measure your wrist and identify what size from that manufacturer you need. We have linked to some of the more common ones in a table below

2) Measure your own wrist

There are 2 ways you can do this. Get an old fashioned tape measure and wrap it around your wrist or get a piece of string / shoelace and wrap it around your wrist then measure it with a ruler. Ideally, you need to measure the wrist on your non-dominant hand.

So if you’re left handed your right wrist and vice-versa. You want to make sure that it is secure and not too tight so it can get the best readings when you exercise. Also if you are on the boundary of two sizes always get the better one. It will be easier to adjust a larger one to make it smaller. Not so much the other way round.

Once you have your wrist size it should translate to a size in the tracker of your choice. Different trackers can have different sizes. As such you need to make sure you check the manufacturer’s websites. However, for illustrative purposes we have included some examples.

ManufacturerModelTracker sizeTracker Size Wrist size (inches)Wrist size (mm)Sizing guide
FitbitVersaSmall5.5 – 7.1140 – 180Sizing guide
FitbitVersaLarge7.1 – 8.7180 – 220
FitbitIonicSmall5.5 – 6.7140 – 170Sizing guide
FitbitIonicLarge6.7 – 8.1170 – 206
FitbitCharge 2Small5.5 – 6.7140 – 170Sizing guide
FitbitCharge 2Large6.7 – 8.1170 – 206
FitbitCharge 2X-large8.1 – 9.3206 – 236
FitbitAlta / Alta HRSmall5.5 – 6.7140 – 170Sizing guide
FitbitAlta / Alta HRLarge6.7 – 8.1170 – 206
FitbitAlta / Alta HRX-large8.1 – 9.3206 – 236
FitbitFlex 2Small5.5 – 6.7140 – 170Sizing guide
FitbitFlex 2Large6.7 – 8.1170 -206
GarminVivoactive HRRegular5.39 – 7.68137 – 195Sizing guide
GarminVivoactive HRX-large6.38 – 8.86161 – 225
GarminVivosmartSmall5.0 – 6.8127 – 172Sizing guide
GarminVivosmartLarge6.1 – 8.7155 – 221
GarminVivofitSmall4.7 – 6.9120 -175Sizing guide
GarminVivofitLarge6.0 – 8.3152 – 210
SamsungGear Fit 2 ProSmall4.9 – 6.5125 – 165
SamsungGear Fit 2 ProLarge6.2 – 8.0158 – 205

Other things to consider

  • The size of the tracker unit

    Although not as important as the size of the band the size of the actual tracking unit should come into consideration also. Make sure that you get one that you are
    comfortable with. Some of the more modern smartwatches and trackers come with all sorts of tech wizardry like GPS and contactless payments. This can all add to the size of the unit itself so be sure to take it into consideration when you are considering what size to buy

  • Replacement straps

    Some but not all fitness trackers have replaceable straps. These are great if you’re not sure or you have lost or gained a bit of weight. Simply order a replacement band or band extender to meet your needs and you’re good to go

  • Rashes

    Having your fitness tracker too tight can contribute to soap getting stuck between the strap and your wrist. Make sure there is enough wiggle room to let your wrist breathe. Also, if you are interested in this topic be sure to check out this article about what to do if your fitness tracker gives you a rash.

Non wrist worn trackers

If you’re the kind who doesn’t like to wear things on your wrist maybe size won’t be an issue. There are other fitness trackers such as the Fitbit Zip, Misfit Ray and which can be worn on your body or inside special jewelery

Conclusion

The size of your fitness tracker you need is dependent on a number of factors. You need to take into consideration the circumference of your wrist, the manufacturers recommended sizing and whether your wrist is likely to be losing or gaining inches over the time you have the tracker.
Once you have all that information you can look at trackers that you like, that match your size and needs. The only thing we would recommend is that if you are on the cusp of 2 size brackets always go for the larger size.
As well, don’t forget that if you go for a tracker with interchangeable straps you could potentially mix and match the bands to get your own custom size.

If after all that you are still unsure don’t forget that many local stores have Fitbits for sale and you can go and try one on for fit.

How to Choose a Fitness Tracker

How to Choose a Fitness Tracker

Fitness and activity trackers are available to monitor the biometric feedback from just about every area of the body while performing almost any activity imaginable. Look hard enough and you’ll find an app or tracker which will analyze the data of your favorite sport or activity and supply detailed reports on how your health is affected.

A fitness tracker in combination with a strong set of goals and a clear exercise plan and diet is one of the most reliable ways to guarantee total wellness and weight loss for those who need it. Once you have the information needed to fine tune your workouts and nutrition you’ll soon see a rapid rise in your health.

A wealth of data is always welcomed but the sheer number of choices at your disposal when picking a fitness tracker can be overwhelming. Here we’ll be taking you through a complete look at how to pick a fitness tracker best suited to your needs, lifestyle and budget.

The Different Types of Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers come in countless forms. A good tracker will be lightweight but durable while delivering performance and health information on the areas which you need. Certain trackers are better suited to specific purposes but you can find fitness technology wearable across the entire body. Here’s a look at the most common types of fitness trackers can expect to find.

Wrist Bands

Fitness tracking wrist bands deliver everything from basic pedometer step-counting and calorie-burning information, to detailed metrics on the motions performed by your body during exercise, reaching all the way to breathing patterns, rep counting for boxing and other contact sports, and activity monitoring for almost any general workout.

Shop around and you’ll find a wrist band to match the function that you need and your budget. Leading wrist band fitness trackers will have heart rate monitors, multi-sport modes, coaching and guidance, and personalized adaptive training.

Ankle Bands

Ankle band fitness trackers are less common than wrist bands but are also less expensive and more purpose-driven. Trackers such as FlyFit are designed for your ankle and deliver information concerning your leg movements more accurately than other trackers. Ankle bands may be the best option for you if you are a runner or cyclist. If you have noticed any irregularities with your existing tracker keeping record of your movements due to issues such as handlebar grip strength then look for an ankle band instead.

Smart Watches

As the most popular but typically more costly option, fitness tracking smart watches give you the best of both worlds. With features to rival a phone and designs which can withstand the most taxing outdoor adventure, smart watches can exhibit fitness tracking features which equal that of devoted trackers.

Leading smart watches such as the Garmin Vivoactiv 3 incorporate robust activity tracking, GPS and GLONASS, and heart rate monitoring with sports apps. With advanced reporting such as this available fitness tracking wearables are ever-increasing in popularity and should always remain a consideration.

Smart Rings

Devices such as the Motiv ring have revolutionized the fitness tracker wearable space. Smart rings such as this now incorporate fully featured fitness trackers which rival bands and watches. You can currently find smart rings which are waterproof and ready to monitor the activities of a range of sports.

Rings such as the Motiv have a built-in optical heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, and full connectivity with smartphones. If you must have wearable tech on the cutting edge, consider getting a fitness smart ring. It’ll set you back quite a bit, but its features will surprise you. 

Clip-ons

Clip-on wearable fitness trackers are quickly gaining in popularity. Discreet fitness tracking solutions such as the Bellabeat Leaf Urban track vitals just as well as any fitness tracking strap while devices such as the Nokia Go even feature automatic detection of workouts and a visual display of your goal progress.

Certain clip-on fitness trackers deliver a higher accuracy of tracking for specific workouts and activities such as sprinting, jogging, cycling, boxing and rowing. With fitness tracking jewelry on the rise, keep your eye on clip-on trackers. You may find one perfect for your lifestyle.

What to Look for in a Fitness Tracker

Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of all of the features which you can expect to find integrated into your prospective fitness tracker. Always careful compare features between various models to find the best tracker for you while keeping these key points in mind.

Sensors

Here’s a look at the various sensors commonly found integrated into leading fitness trackers and smartwatches with fitness tracking features. Always ensure that your tracker has the right range of sensors to help you stay on top of your fitness area of focus.

Accelerometer

The accelerometer is the most basic sensor which is found in all fitness trackers. It tracks your distance traveled in any given direction. Most modern accelerometers are 3-axis accelerometers, the industry standard. A good accelerometer will track your motion in any direction all of the time, tracing whether you are stationary, walking or running and the speed at which you are moving. These sensors also track the orientation of your body, its tilt and inclination as well as inertia.

3-axis Gyroscope

Another common feature to most fitness trackers is a 3-axis gyroscope. A gyroscope measures angular velocity along three orthogonal axes. It is used by numerous reporting facilities and is a highly accurate means of orientating. The gyroscope improves the performance of exercise tracking features in conjunction with the accelerometer.

Altimeter

An altimeter is a sensor which detects and tracks changes in height. Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure are detected which allows your fitness tracker to monitor information such as final step count, flights of stairs ascended, and it helps your calorie output’s accuracy.

Ambient Light Sensor

The ambient light sensor of a fitness tracker detects the time of day by converting light to a digital signal then sending the metrics through the sensor’s processor. Most devices with this technology present auto-adjust the brightness of the fitness tracker’s backlight relative to the surrounding light level in order to improve both ease-of-use and overall energy consumption.

Heart Rate Monitor

There are many different types of heart rate monitors available as a part of various fitness trackers. Many units require an additional chest strap however this is less than optimal. Dedicated heart rate trackers are often sold removing the need for anything other than a small, lightweight strap, whilst most leading sports trackers and feature-packed fitness monitors all have accurate heart rate monitoring technology built in. This is a feature which is conventionally essential to athletes, fitness fans and those looking to lose weight as it allows you to accurately track your performance, endurance and the intensity of any given workout. 

Bio-impedance Sensor

A bio-impedance sensor measures the resistance of electrical tissue with organic tissue which in turn translates to valuable information concerning a range of physiological signals. Fitness trackers using impedance sensors typically use them to track heart rate, sleep cycles, respiration, hydration and even skin galvanization. You’ll also find these sensors in smart scales.

GPS

A built-in GPS is a huge advantage to a fitness tracker allowing you leave your phone at home and still track important distance and route data. You should however keep in mind that devices featuring a GPS or GLONASS typically have lower battery life so consider keeping a power bank or similar charging solution handy for those times when you’ll be pushing its limits.

Features

Aspects of design listed below will at times come down to personal preference however always take the time to determine which functions your tracker has to have, sorting according to priority and budget. Here’s what to look for.

Screen Size

A large screen size may not always translate to a clear readout. Keep a keen eye on the resolution and amplified brightness. Industry standards set the resolution of most fitness tracker touch-LCDs at 300 x 300, while the higher the amplified brightness the better allowing for crystal-clear readouts in any lighting conditions or underwater when reaching 1,000 nits such as is seen on the Fitbit Versa.

Not all trackers come with a screen. Smaller, more limited devices such as are common to tracking individual fitness activities such as running and cycling at times sacrifice a display complete in favor of a series of activity lights. If this is the case, familiarize yourself with how your tracker gives readout before buying one rather than becoming frustrated after you’re stuck with it.

You also want to determine whether you want a tracker with a screen that stays on permanently as opposed to one which senses your motion and switches on. The latter comes at a higher cost but the improvement to battery life is immense.

Design

One of the downsides to most large-sized displays, especially on smartwatches with fitness tracking features, is the gaudiness and difficulty matching some designs to popular attire. It doesn’t help that your tracker does everything but it’s hard to wear, standing as a huge attentional-drawing gadget on your arm.

A good fitness tracker needs to be rugged enough to withstand the knocks and shakes of high-paced outdoor sport and the onslaught of the elements when hiking while remaining sleek and stylish enough to track your vitals on a day-to-day basis. As a device which will most likely be worn 24/7, you want your fitness tracker to be extremely lightweight and open to customizations.

The best smartwatches and fitness trackers available with come with tons of strap choices, face options and ways to personalize their look.

Ease of Use

While the most compact fitness trackers will feature only buttons, a capacitive touch screen does add an immense amount of practical value to any tracker. Touch screen functionality makes it easy to operate and configure the device however this does not mean that fitness trackers without such features should not be considered.

Trackers such as the Moov Now band has a long-lasting battery and tracking which can identify to such detail that it knows what type of punch you are throwing. Regardless of the feature set, make certain that your fitness tracker is logical and intuitively designed. Any buttons present should never pose an obstruction in any way while motion and activity sensors should always work responsively.

Battery Life

Always compare the battery life of your fitness tracker to other competing devices in its range. At times you will be shocked at the difference in performance. For example, the Fitbit Versa far outperforms the powerful Apple Watch 3 in terms of battery life giving an impressive four days on average in constant use, far outperforming Apple’s one to two days maximum.

Dedicated lightweight fitness trackers also have vastly different battery performances ranging from weeks to months. Every good fitness tracker will have its batteries easily available from all reputable retailers at a low cost, while some trackers even come with rechargeable solutions.

Single-purpose trackers often forego all on-device visible reporting features such as lights and screens in favor of data-only storage which is then retrievable via a smartphone or computer. If you don’t want on-the-move info at your hands then this is the optimal choice for you as these devices boast batteries that last for many months, at times years.

Storage

Storage only becomes a factor if you plan to load your wearable tech with custom applications and music. Many fitness trackers forego any sizeable amount of storage space in favor of battery life, instead interfacing with your mobile phone to provide music listening and voice command functionality. However, for those who have to have their music preloaded on the tracker itself, be on the lookout for devices giving at least 4GB of storage.

Any less, and you are limited to less than 300 songs on average, which is far less than most playlist collections take up. As it is, most fitness trackers only allow you a limited percentage of your total storage space for apps and files. Be sure to check this If you buy a fitness tracker which has a dedicated GPS; then you need to make sure that your device has the capability to handle a range of custom maps, markers and waypoint information.

Connectivity

Your fitness tracker should always be able to interface with your smartphone via Bluetooth at least. While not all trackers come with Wi-Fi, it does make connectivity to an existing network for syncing metrics much easier. Only the highest-end fitness trackers will feature an NFC chipset although given the limited amount of current applications it is only select users who will need such functionality. The most important aspect of connectivity is your device’s sync accuracy.

Fitness trackers are notorious for having issues with cross-platform synchronization. When such problems do occur, they are typically patched via software updates for the fitness tracker itself. Before buying any device, make sure that you know of any potential issues and the steps that may need to take to overcome any latent bugs.

Water Resistance

Depending on the exact purpose of your individual fitness tracker, a waterproof rating will range from your tracker being tough enough to withstand the rain and being submerged briefly in water to resistance all the way to 90 feet for water-purposed devices. If you plan to use your fitness tracker to measure and record your performance while swimming, boating or any other activity where you will be under the water for prolonged periods, then make sure that your device has a high accuracy.

At times, sensor accuracy drops drastically as soon as certain fitness trackers are submerged even though they report accurate tracking of swimming data. Always do your research to ensure that your tracking features work properly underwater.

If you’re on the lookout for a waterproof tracker be sure to check out our guide on fitness trackers for swimming.

Mobile Interfacing

Most good fitness trackers will be capable of connecting to your mobile phone via Bluetooth. At the least, you should look for the ability to make and receive calls while possibly interacting with a voice assistant such as Siri. AI-driven voice assistants vastly expand the capabilities of your search-driven data and should always be considered.

Be on the lookout for audible alerts at goals and audio notifications for heart rates and other reporting features. The very best fitness trackers will offer coaching as either a stand-alone feature or assisted by your mobile phone. The side-by-side app for Fitbit devices is a great example of how mobile connectivity can expand the potential uses of your fitness tracker. Keep a close eye on what platforms are supported. In the case of Google Fit, mobile connectivity becomes essential and a great asset to the range of apps available.

Workout Auto Detection

Every good fitness tracker should feature automatic workout detection which begins to record the appropriate data to the appropriate application or reporting function of the device. Always compare the metrics provided by any given workout capturing feature of your prospective fitness tracker to other comparative devices. At times there are vast differences in accuracy while more reputable devices have found ways to supply more in-depth statistics regarding data captured. Instead of reporting basic metric only, data concerning every individual aspect of your sporting or exercise routine should be reported.

Sports Tracking

Sport tracking features should be one of your prime considerations prior to buying a fitness tracker, especially if you are an avid athlete. While a device may not always come preloaded with all of the sports-tracking functions which it can perform, you should make sure that your prospective fitness tracker has an app available to provide detailed reporting.

Always double check which activities a fitness tracker is suited to being used for. You don’t want to find your tracker damaged or malfunctioning during climbing, camping, hiking or adventure sports. A lightweight affordable tracking solution may carry all of the functions that you need but it won’t be able to sustain the knocks and weather most hiking watches are typically put through.

Similarly, if you are cycling, skating, running or performing any other activity where speed and agility are imperative then you need a fitness tracker which is feather-light and packed with metrics. Always buy according to what you’ll be using your tracker for. The best sports watches with fitness-tracking features have the ability to track over 80 different exercises.

Coaching

As an addition of most high-end fitness trackers, coaching features are either loved or hated. Nonetheless, they are a prime factor of consideration for anyone that likes a bit of extra motivation. AI-enabled coaching assistants can use the information obtained by your fitness tracker to intelligently suggest adjustments to your training routine and diet while keeping you motivated with inspirational prompts.

Most devices featuring training assistants give advice towards goals but if you want the leading edge of this technology, buy a fitness tracker with a real-time audio voice assistant. The inter-personal coaching is far preferable to basic prompts on your device or phone. Most devices have a dedicated companion application for coaching; for example, the Suunto 3 Fitness features Adaptive Training Guidance which creates and adapts a seven-day training program from your individual data, changing it optimally if you skip days or make changes to your workout.

With advanced coaching for every discipline available, it is best to shop carefully for a new device.

Sleep Tracking

Never underestimate the insights revealed by sleep reporting. Actigraphy, or sleep tracking, is provided by a range of fitness trackers. Fitbit and Jawbone fitness trackers are renowned for their actigraph components and the metrics obtained. Sleep deprivation has an effect on every last process of the body. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your metabolism is not working properly leading to fewer calories burned and less of an overall gain from your nutrition and exercise. Pay close attention to the data provided in your sleep cycles and adjust your workout, diet, habits and sleeping hours until you have reached a restful sleep state consistently. The rewards are far reaching.

Apps

The greatest selection of downloadable apps is found on the Apple store making their watches the clear winner in the app variety category; however, this does not necessarily mean a better user experience. Outstanding examples of superior app design include the range of tools provided with the Fitbit Versa and the great layout and functionality of Garmin’s Vivofit and Vivosport’s built-in apps.

Ultimately, you want a range of software which gives reporting and information in a clear, concise manner. When possible, try to see the device in operation first-hand or via video so that you can better gauge what each app provides. At times the built-in apps and limited operating systems such as Fitbit OS have apps which outperform any available on public app stores.

Additional Features

Given the highly competitive state of today’s fitness market you can find trackers with a plethora of handy functions and tools, from fitness tests to on-screen exercises, sporting tips, breath coaching, social alerts and communication, metric sharing and group goals, comparative heart health info, and real-time weather with forecasts.

Choosing the Perfect Fitness Tracker

Now that you have a complete overview of the features which you can expect to find, here’s a look at what questions you should ask yourself to ensure that you buy a fitness tracker which is best suited to your needs.

What is Your Budget?

Your budget largely determines the feature-set which you can expect. This being said, only dedicated fitness fans normally find themselves spending over $100 dollars on a tracker alone. Given the recent addition of highly affordable stylish wearable technology such as the Versa, Vivofit and Misfit Shine, one could always extend the budget closer to $200 to reward oneself with a fitness tracker which not only looks great but is packed with features too.

What Will You Be Using Your Fitness Tracker for?

Just because the fitness tracker which you have in mind lists your specific sport or activity this does mean that it specifically provides tracking for it. Always compare the accuracy and intricacy of any specific activity tracking which you plan to use. A simple fitness band for running may be enough for casual joggers but sprinters or other track athletes may prefer more dedicated hardware such as an ankle band or clip-on delivering more detailed results.

Is Your Fitness Tracker for Yourself or a Child?

If you need a fitness tracker for a child, then it is generally far better to buy one which is specifically designed for children. There are many fantastic choices out there such as the Fitbit Ace and Garmin’s outstanding Vivofit Jr.

Delivered in a range of Disney-branded designs and packed with features, these waterproof fitness trackers encourage kids to stay active through fun facts and interactive goal setting. For even younger children, a Leapband is a great choice doubling as a game and activity tracker. Regardless of your preference for education or your child’s age and interests, there is a fitness tracker perfect for them which will not only record their vitals but motivate a well-rounded lifestyle.

Do You Need a Screen?

Unless you want direct access to the real-time reporting of a heart monitor or the breathing assistance of a well-rounded fitness coach, you don’t necessarily need a screen. A screen adds to the size and weight of your tracker while also considerably increasing its cost. Fitness trackers featuring large screens are jam-packed with sensors and come in at around the cost of your average hybrid smartwatch.

There are many great fitness bands available which store biometric data for your viewing via an app on your phone or computer. This form of reporting is far more cost effective and preferable to devices with a screen unless you have the budget or a professional need for the fitness technology. 

Smartwatch or Fitness Tracker?

A smartwatch is the first choice which comes to mind for most but unless you have the budget to buy a hybrid smartwatch towards the higher of the scale your fitness features will be lacking. The best smartwatches do of course rival dedicated fitness trackers, but you can expect to pay $250 or more per device.

Fitness trackers are purpose-driven and often much better suited to tracking the data from sporting activities and caloric information than the majority of smart watches. Given the vast selection of fitness trackers available it is highly recommended that you consider a tracker first.

How to Use a Fitness Tracker to Lose Weight

How to Use a Fitness Tracker to Lose Weight

Wearable technology is packed with ways to help you lose weight and stay fit. When you use a fitness tracker or smartwatch in combination with a solid plan backed by a set of actionable goals the dramatic improvement to your health and drop in weight can be astonishing. Cutting-edge fitness trackers divulge valuable information on every aspect of your body and well-being but without intelligently using these insights we miss out on many of the latent benefits.

A fitness tracker and the info it supplies alone are of very little help. But approach any weight loss challenge armed with the advice, guidelines and key considerations we will be listing for you here and you’re guaranteed results. Here’s a concise but comprehensive overview of how to use a fitness tracker to lose weight and achieve your goals.

How a Fitness Tracker Can Help You Lose Weight

Your fitness tracker can help you lose weight in countless ways. It’s up to you to take the first step and start using the full feature set of your chosen tracker. The built-in apps, exercise programs, reporting and metrics are all invaluable to a well-planned weight-loss strategy. However, by themselves they offer very little value. Here we look at how you can use your fitness tracker’s features to support and strengthen your weight loss efforts.

Detailed Calorie Counting

Almost every diet centered around weight loss will bring your daily calorie intake under scrutiny. Gone are the days of notes, paper and charts. Good fitness trackers featuring a calorie counter which can calculate your lean body mass will be the most accurate of them all. This is due to how lean body mass is the main determiner of your basal metabolic rate which is directly relative to the number of calories burned while doing absolutely nothing. Your fitness tracker will most likely support more than one calorie-counting app. Be sure to check our upcoming wrap-up of the best calorie counting apps for your fitness tracker.

Every tracker will use a different calculation to determine the rate at which you are burning calories. Always check that the method used is one that makes sense to you. Not all fitness trackers divulge how they track calories burned yet exhibit results deemed highly accurate by the community. One had need just look at the Nike FuelBand which is loved by users for such an example, yet not all devices can be trusted. Always get an overview of the accuracy of your fitness tracker before committing to a purchase.

Custom Cardio Workouts

Fitness trackers featuring heart rate monitors come at a slightly higher cost than run-of-the-mill fitness bands but the information which they supply can help you develop a workout which is not only optimal for weight loss but your heart as well. Most cardio-sensing fitness watches emit an audible tone notifying you of fixed points within your heart rate elevation. The very best fitness trackers even have voice coaching taking full advantage of the detected BPM of your heart rate and its fluctuations. By accurately monitoring your heart rate during exercise you can determine when you are in the ever-sought-after fat burning zone, fine tuning your training regime from therein out. To figure out what the perfect heart rate is for you to burn calories as in individual simply follow this easy calculation:

Finding Your Fat Burning Zone

  • Determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220 (E.g. 220 – 40 =180)
  • 70% of the value obtained is your target heart rate ( 180 ÷ 100 X 70 = 126 BPM target rate for a 40-year-old)

Most experts suggest that you exercise at 70% of your maximum heart rate with fluctuations up to 85% of your maximum still classified as safe rigorous exercise. Sticking to a 70 percent average will give you the stamina that you need to sustain your workout long enough to burn a good number of calories.

Coaching and Guidance

Fans of fitness trackers will mostly agree that the coaching and guidance features of most good trackers are an immense asset to their weight loss. Coaching and guidance scales all the way from alternating LEDs indicating performance patterns on basic devices to voice assistants adjusting and reporting performance information audibly.

Always see if you can find a coaching app for your physical activity of choice. There are assistants available for almost all fitness trackers from Fitbit monitors to smart rings and watches. Take advantage of the personalized training assistance as most apps factor in your daily activity as well as sporting metrics, whilst compensating for any irregularities in your exercise by adjusting your program on the fly.

Even if your biometric data is limited to the info pulled by your iPhone, there are personal coaches which can help hone your form and support weight loss. Lumo Run is a great coach requiring a sensor which clips onto your shorts, while the Moov Now may be dated but remains a tracker with one of the most comprehensive coaching programs around.

If your fitness tracker does not feature a personal coach, consider downloading a coaching app for your phone. Regardless of whether you’re on Android or Apple, there are some fantastic coaching apps available which you can use in combination with the metrics obtained by your device to fine-tune your training and optimize your weight loss strategy.

Comparative Statistics and Competitive Motivation

Never underestimate the power of motivation and community in weight-loss. Studies show that more than half the people who buy a fitness tracker abandon it completely eventually, while about a third of all people quit using it within just six months. What this indicates is that we need to purposefully use our trackers. The more features we can take advantage of to keep us hooked on using the device the more likely that we’ll fall into a regular pattern of use regardless of our individual habits.

We all know how motivating competition can be and when it comes to metric sharing, all info can be shared anonymously, or selectively with a small group of friends. The data benefits you directly adding to the value of coaching assistants and customized workout programs provided. The same apps and features will keep you on target throughout the day as you keep your profile in check, akin to a social media update. Those who dislike interaction can reap the rewards of detailed charting and comparisons, while those who are used to frequent status updates can now bolster their own inner-motivation through a sense of community.

For example, if one looks at the Misfit Shine’s total tracking and journaling feature which provides a collective picture of your health including a daily photo food journey with links to your diet and exercise, we can soon see how sharing data can motivate weight loss.

The journey is made interactive with milestones and goal-sharing being transformed into an activity which inspires the next action along your weight-loss challenge. Google Fit compatible apps and services are another prime example of metric sharing for motivation at its best.

Many Google Fit apps use the data obtained from the community to customize your workout and provide guidance, while the community-based nature delivers a place for people to share their experience regardless of which physical activity they prefer. You have apps for everything from running to yoga, making a Google Fit watch or other device a great choice for many.

Best Apps to Use with Your Fitness Tracker

There is no better way to jumpstart your weight loss than through changing the entire focus of your lifestyle towards healthy living. Mobile apps allow us a fantastic opportunity to integrate our fitness tracking data into every aspect of our daily lives. Social interaction adds motivation to our weight loss journey while many of the apps out there are actually more accurate than the standard software provided by many fitness trackers.

The more attention you devote to your fitness and weight loss the more you will be able to take full advantage of your diet and lifestyle change, truly using the full feature-set of your fitness tracker. Here’s a look at the best fitness-tracking apps for your mobile, adding the extra oomph to your weight loss.

Android

Runtastic Running and Distance Fitness Tracker

With voice feedback, live tracking of walking, jogging and running with calorie goals, heart rate zone training and motivational prompts, Runtastic Running and Distance Fitness Tracker is one of the best all-round fitness apps for Android. Runtastic lets you map your workout in real time while managing a personal workout diary with charts for altitude, pace, speed and heart rate information.

You can add treadmill, spinning and weight lifting workouts manually while this great app lets you share your sporting activities to Google+, Facebook and Twitter. One of the best features of Runtastic is that it works on almost any device, Blackberry phones included.

Google Fit Fitness Tracking

Google Fit is compatible with all Android devices and receives data from a massive range of compatible fitness trackers. The way that Google Fit uses sensor data is nothing short of ingenious. It gives you accurate metrics on steps taken, calories burned, and distance covered while also giving a host of reports supplying a complete picture of your health and fitness. This easy-to-use app lets you track over 120 different activities estimating the calories burned by doing those exercises and taking into consideration your personal data.

As a social fitness tracker, Google Fit excels allowing you to share your statistics with numerous online communities focused on every area of fitness tracking and weight loss.

Nike Training Club Workouts and Fitness Plans

The Nike+ Training Club app is one of the most comprehensive mobile fitness solutions out there. It gives you expert guidance across over 100 workouts while accepting custom inputs as well. Many of the workouts provided by Nike+ have been designed by renowned athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

You input what equipment you have and how long you have to work out and Nike’s app works out the perfect fitness plan for you, giving you video exercises to complete on a daily basis. Training plans are devised according to goals and classified into strength, endurance and mobility. They usually span a couple of weeks. Nike’s results are known to be outstanding both in terms of the accuracy of their devices and the efficacy of their workout programs.

Apple

Apple Health

Even without a dedicated wearable fitness tracker, Apple Health pulls a huge amount of information using the sensors of your iPhone alone. Using your phone’s motion sensors and GPS, Apple Health will tell you how many miles you’ve walked, how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, the steps you’ve counted, and all the calories burned to a high degree of accuracy. Apple Health uses the HealthKit API to harvest metrics from a range of other devices and apps featuring some of the best cross-platform synchronization of data ever seen. Apple Health breaks down your data into activity, mindfulness, nutrition and sleep. It is one of the most comprehensive total health trackers available and an essential part of any iPhone owner’s fitness and weight-loss. If you aren’t already, start using it and take advantage of the full feature set it provides.

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is one of the best calorie counters available. It comes with a massive database containing nutritional facts and information for over 2 million different food types. Be sure to setup MyFitnessPal completely, measuring your individual portions as you go and inputting accurate data only. When correctly configured, this is a powerful weight loss aid that will ensure that you are eating the right balance of food for your diet, lifestyle and body.

To make the best use of this fantastic app, zoning in on high-caloric meals and switching up your food, be sure to list food entries immediately. Leaving all of your data capturing till the end of the day leaves far too much room for error and will limit the suggestions and data reported by this great app.

7 Minute Workout

The 7 Minute Workout app for Apple devices is the No. 1 rated fitness app on the iStore. It gives you a range of 12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises allowing you to lose weight and get fit fast in just seven minutes a day or less. If you are pressed for time and need a fantastic starting point to begin high-intensity interval training, then download the 7 Minute Workout app today and configure an intensity of exercise which is best suited to your own personal form. With voice prompts and visual cues, you can’t go wrong and the results speak for themselves.

Peloton Digital Fitness Tracking

From the same company who brought you one of the most outstanding ranges of fitness bicycles ever made comes an outstanding premium fitness app. This subscription-only service will set you back $20 per month but Peleton Digital Fitness Tracking is one of the most complete tracking apps available on any platform. Compatible only with iOS, Peloton Digital Fitness Tracking gives you access to library of spin classes and live on-demand exercises harvesting metrics from your Fitbit fitness tracker to customize your experience.

A 14-day free trial is available allowing you to try out the 175+ running and boot camp courses, as well as 15 other outdoor running classes. With this library ever expanding, Peloton Digital Fitness Tracking is sure to grow its fan-base of running, biking and spinning enthusiasts. After all, high intensity anaerobic exercise is the key to rapid weight loss.

Habit Food and Weight

Habit Food and Weight is one of the most innovative apps around. It uses an analysis of your blood and biometric feedback to determine the optimal meal delivery for your health, with real-time coaching provided. Habit requires you to order a Habit kit which you’ll use to take swabs of your DNA and complete measures of your body’s dimensions. After sending this data and the samples of your DNA back to Habit, they are analyzed, and a custom food profile is devised to help you lose weight.

Distribution areas are limited but the results reported by those following Habit’s customized eating plan and prompts is nothing short of astounding. They even offer a customized meal delivery program for those who live hectic lifestyles but still want to eat and live healthy.

5 Must-Know Fitness Tracker Weight Loss Tips

Now that you know how a fitness tracker can help you lose weight and are armed with the best fitness apps for your mobile, implement these five top tips and your weight loss goals are sure to be reached.

1. Never Take Your Tracker Off

It is vital that your tracker record your metrics all of the time. Without having a complete profile of your health, your statistics are flawed. Modern fitness trackers factor in everything from sleep cycles to time spent stationary. You don’t want to gimp your device by taking it off without a good reason. All fitness wearables are designed to be worn all of the time and are extremely durable. We’re not saying keep on that wrist strap until it smells.

Light cleaning is normal and needed but replace your fitness tracker immediately after cleaning and sleep with it on. It needs the data from all of your daily activities for the most accurate results. By having your tracker on all of the time you are also privy to information that you’d normally overlook.

Take the time to inspect step data relative to calories burned and adjust commonly used routes. By taking a more taxing route to work, the gym, or perhaps walking to the café instead of driving all can result in far more weight being lost than you’d expect. Analyze the data from any and all repetitive tasks and see if there is some way that you can make the exercise slightly more taxing with an upward curve to the intensity of the workout which it gives you.

2. Set Yourself Goals and Micro-goals

A fitness tracker can provide you with every detail of your health and physical activity possible but none of that info is worth anything unless you use it to set out and accomplish goals. Be sure to break down your weight loss challenges into the steps which you plan to take to drop the weight. This includes the number of calories burned, the diet plan you shall be following, your frequency of exercise and choice of activities, as well as the information necessary within each section to track your progress properly. There are apps for most high-end fitness trackers which will harvest activity information from over 80 different exercises, capturing your heart-rate, moves used, workout intensity and more. Use these handy tools in conjunction with a set of goals such as an ever-increasing in intensity weekly workout plan to push yourself to the optimal limit to lose weight.

For example, a simple step counter and a plan works wonders for your weight. Given a starting goal of 10,000 steps, increase this target relative to the number of calories which you find yourself burning during that period. Step counting may help more toward general fitness but apply this principle to your exercise routines and you’ll soon devise the best rate to scale your training at. Aerobic exercise at 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate for half an hour at a frequency of just three times a week will up your endurance.

If you find yourself unable to put in the intensity needed to push yourself through a high-paced anaerobic fat-burning workout, you may first need a few weeks of endurance training to hit your goals. If this is the case, note what is needed based on your vitals and break this down into a set of short-term goals. Using this example, we can soon see how customized adjustments to your training can bring out rapid weight loss and a healthy form.

3.  Isolate Step Count and Walk for Weight Loss

Your step count is a reflection of your activity during everyday life. It is not a measure to be factored into your exercise. The number of steps that you take can be leveraged for weight loss but working this data into your calculations when trying to establish the optimal workout will result in nothing but inadequate results. Walking briskly for just thirty minutes a day burns 150 calories on average. Instead of using the data as part of your overall calculation, rather using your walking as an addition means to burn calories independent of your exercise.

Walking for weight loss is a wonderful way to drop extra weight with very little change to your lifestyle and habits. Up until recently, 10,000 steps a day was seen to be a healthy target however recent research shows that 12,000 steps a day dramatically increases the number of calories burned. As a means of exercise, walking is also less detrimental to the body and joints for people who are extremely overweight.

If you participate in little to no exercise and want to use walking as a means of weight loss, here’s an easy plan to follow. Begin your first day with a step count goal of just 2000 steps. Accomplish this in either one round or four bouts of 500 steps each. For six consecutive days, increase your daily step count goal by 500. On the seventh day take a break or cross-train however else you want. At the start of the new week continue increasing your step count goal by 500 a day.

By the end of the first month alone you would have racked up 10,000 steps a day which equates to one pound burned a week if you are following a healthy restricted-calorie eating plan. From here, you can up your step count as you wish striving ever-close to 12,000 steps or stick to 10,000 as it is quite a manageable tally to reach and sustain. Use the data from your fitness tracker to determine your average walking pace and adjust as is needed to hit a good rate of calories burned.

4. Use Resistance Interval Training

Resistance interval training is proven to be far more effective for weight loss than steady-state cardio workouts. All fitness trackers with heart rate monitoring technology should be used to determine the best intensity of workout for your individual conditioning. You need to put in as high of an intensity of training as possible while performing an aerobic exercise such as a few hard rounds on an elliptical machine, jump-rope training with no rest in-between intervals, kettlebells, cycling, swimming or rowing.

High-intensity, high-repetition short interval workouts can fit into any schedule no matter how short of time you may be. Monitor your vitals to determine which exercises put you at 80% of your maximum heart rate and develop a regular, consistent training program.

Resistance exercise high-intensity interval training is so effective for weight loss that many feel that it is the only form of fitness which delivers results. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, works best when you perform a resistance exercise at your peak heart rate of 80% for sixty seconds straight followed by 60 seconds of active recovery. The average HIIT program features 6 resistance exercises such as the leg press, bench press, lunges, shoulder press, biceps curl and triceps extension but any sporting exercise can be adapted.

By keeping an eye on your fitness tracker during exercise, you can isolate the activities which put you in the optimal zone for performance and fat burning, adapting your workout manually in addition to having it fine-tuned by one of the many tracking and fitness apps available. 

5. Use a Nutrition Tracker

A fitness tracker alone helps but to truly cut down your calories and boost your well-being you need to start eating properly. Take advantage of one of the many nutrition trackers available for your mobile device and take the time to configure it completely using accurate data only. Meal planners and nutrition trackers feature comprehensive collections of nutritional information covering every type of food and drink.

MyFitnessPal is one of the best examples of a food and calorie tracker functioning at its best, while countless other online services are available such as CronoMeter allowing you to track your nutrition, fitness and health data, while setting out a healthy eating plan personalized to your body and lifestyle. Tracking the number of calories consumed along-side tracking your calories burned is a sure-fire recipe for rapid weight loss. The perspective which these metrics give you puts you at the perfect place to adjust your daily habits, workout schedule and meal choices for optimal weight loss.

Customize the Solution to Your Personal Weight Loss Challenge

Before buying any fitness tracker on the premise that it can track your chosen sport or activity just because it lists it, make sure that your device logs enough data adequately. Just because a fitness tracker is capable of capturing yoga, does not mean that it accurately captures your movements and metrics. Your fitness tracker can be a huge asset to your weight-loss endeavors as long as it logs the data which is relevant to you on a personal level.

By using your data and the tools at your disposal intelligently according to your own habits, preferences and time, you’ll soon skyrocket your fitness to new levels while cutting away those pounds and pulling in your waist size. 

Which Bluetooth Headphones Work With the Fitbit Ionic?

Which Bluetooth Headphones Work With the Fitbit Ionic?

You may or may not be aware that the Fitbit Ionic has the ability to store music, podcasts and audio books on the device.  Pretty neat, but no good if you can’t hear it. Not to worry as all you need is any pair of bluetooth headphones that support Bluetooth 4.x or if you want to go down the manufacturer recommended route a set of Fitbit Flyer headphones.

And as we like to be helpful we figured it would be a good chance to answer some of the other common questions about bluetooth headphones and the Fitbit Ionic.

Can any brand of headphones be used with the Fitbit Ionic?

Yes, as long as they are Bluetooth enabled and support Bluetooth 4.x

What is Bluetooth 4.x?

Bluetooth 4.x is the latest version of Bluetooth which was created to improve the overall standards of bluetooth devices. The main focus of Bluetooth 4.0 was to reduce power consumption of connected devices by improving the way it sends data. In addition, devices that support dual mode are able to connect to 2 devices at once. So for example, your Fitbit Flyer headphones could connect to both your phone and your Fitbit Ionic. If you are the curious type, this article gives more background to the various Bluetooth standards.

What are Fitbit Flyer headphones?

Fitbit Flyers are the manufacturer recommended headphones to use with your Fitbit Ionic. Fitbit worked from the ground up in conjunction with Waves Audio to create the Flyers. The result was a set of sweat proof wireless headphones designed to work well in workout situations

Do you have to use Fitbit Flyers with your Fitbit Ionic?

In a word, no. You may not even want to listen to music from your Ionic in which case having no headphones isn’t a problem. If you do, any compatible bluetooth headphones will do the job.

Can I use Fitbit Flyers for swimming?

According to the Fitbit website the Flyers are not suitable for swimming. They are designed to be rain, sweat and splash proof. They will cope with a little condensation but anything more than that is likely to damage them

Can I use my Apple Air Pods with my Fitbit Ionic

As Apple Air Pods are Bluetooth 4.x compliant they will work.

How do I pair my Bluetooth headphones to my Fitbit Ionic?

Helpfully, Fitbit have provided a step by step video which takes you through the actions needed.

How do I add music to my Fitbit Ionic?

Best Fitness Tracker for Kayaking

Best Fitness Tracker for Kayaking

Kayaking is a great form of low impact exercise which is easy to learn, great for flexibility and a great way to get fit. In the early days you won’t need any fancy equipment and you may even double up with someone more experienced to get into it and share equipment. As time goes on, you will of course get better and want to push your training to new levels. This is where we can you help you by giving our views on the best fitness tracker for kayaking.

Why would you want a fitness tracker for kayaking?

The answer of course is it depends. People have got by for years without any tracking equipment and managed just fine. The main thing that becomes apparent is that if you do want to find the best fitness tracker for kayaking the plain and simple accelerometer versions just won’t cut the mustard. Technical limitations with the way that fitness trackers work mean that the algorithm won’t work out that you are paddling and interpret your kayaking workout as steps. Not what anyone wants and it could be very frustrating.

To get round this limitation it is widely accepted that instead of a basic fitness tracker it is best to use a fitness tracker that makes use of GPS. This will then give you the following benefits:-

  • Safety – not so much of a concern if you head out in an enclosed lake but much more important in sea kayaking is the ability to find your way back to where you set off
  • Progress tracking – the ability to train to a heart rate and monitor your pace and progress with instant feedback will enable you to push your kayaking fitness to the next level
  • Keeping track of the time – ideally you don’t want to be out in the dark so a good old watch that tells you the time makes sure you don’t stay out into the dark

What functionality should you look for in a fitness tracker for kayaking?

In general terms, GPS watches that are suitable for tracking kayaking can also be useful for tracking other activities such running, open water swimming and stand up paddle boarding amongst others. That being said here are the specific functions you should look out specifically for kayaking:-

  • Waterproof – this one almost goes without saying. As you will be using your device almost entirely in the water it needs to be able to cope with a bit of a soaking
  • Good battery life – there is nothing more frustrating than being out on the water and your tracker has run out of charge. A tracker that keeps hold of a charge but for a reasonable amount of time will be important
  • GPS – the addition of a GPS will give you the ability to keep a track of your routes and starting location as well as a much more accurate assessment of your overall pace
    Large visible screen with customisable screens -ideally a screen that is visible in sunlight and nice and large so that you can see it at a glance. Along with the ability to customise the screens so that they suit your training methods.
  • Durable – kayaking is going to put your tracker through the mill so you need a tracker that will take a battering with a good strap that doesn’t come undone easily
  • Smartphone notifications – not crucial but a quite useful feature if your phone is stowed away in the dry bag and you are waiting for an important phone call

Best fitness tracker for kayaking – the options:-

After looking around the internet we came up with the following proposed options as the best fitness trackers for kayaking:-

1. Garmin Fenix 5

Garmin Fenix 5

One of the most advanced and expensive watches of modern times. The Fenix 5 is designed for an outdoors life. Waterproof to 100 metres it comes preconfigured for multi-sports and can track both indoor and outdoor rowing. In addition, the tracker can also connect to Ant+ and bluetooth sensors of every bent. Outside of this, the mapping functionality on the Fenix 5 is second to none and will allow you to return your original location with little or no problem.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

 

 

2. Casio Pro Trek PRW-3500

Casio Pro Trek PRW-3500

A sophisticated watch water resistant up to 200 metres. It comes complete with an altimeter, barometer and compass. With more detail than you can ever hope to deal with the Pro Trek also features some newer features such as a  stop watch and the facility to collect data about your current and future location. The final cool bit of technology of this watch is the ability to gain a charge using the perpetual battery life where a solar charger makes sure that you have enough juice.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

 

 

3. Polar M400

Polar M400

A great waterproof watch with a great battery life and  a clear screen that gives instant feedback on performance by making use of its on board optical heart rate sensor.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

 

 

 

4. Garmin Vivoactive HR

Garmin Vivoactive HR
Primarily designed as a running watch the vivoactive hr has several features that make it ideal for kayaking. Waterproof, gps and a great screen that is clearly visible in bright sunlight. Make sure you get the HR version to benefit from the optical hear rate monitor

Check out the latest price on Amazon

 

 

 

5. Suunto Ambit

Suunto Ambit

This watch is at the higher end of the market and is more than likely to be chosen for a major game. Even though the Ambit is a little more expensive than you would expect the extra money results in advanced features such as the ability to track your heart rate and breathing rate plotted against your speed and stroke rate. Invaluable for kayak sessions in recent times.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

 

 

 

Other notable mentions go the Polar V800 , Garmin 305,Garmin Quatix or TomTom Multisport watch. If however, you still feel that these devices don’t give you everything you want you may want to consider something specifically made for kayaking that attaches to the paddles such as the Motionize activity tracker.

Top Ten Fitness Trackers

Top Ten Fitness Trackers

It seems like every year there is another raft of fitness trackers being manufactured. Couple, this with smartwatches that concentrate on fitness and it is clear there is a lot of choice.To help you out, we have been tried to make some order out of the chaos and distill the options down to a simple list of what we think are the top ten fitness trackers. We spent a lot of time putting this together but of course we may have missed something out or made some mistakes.
So what do you do if you know you want a fitness tracker but you’re not sure which to get?

Like most questions of this type, the answer is it depends. Your budget, must have functionality, fitness goals, brand loyalty and taste all play a part. That being said our current favourite is the Fitbit Charge 2 which gives you the most bang of the box.

If you’re pressed for time or rushing out to the gym check out our favourite fitness tracker over at Amazon.

Top Ten Fitness Trackers

Bestseller No. 1
Willful Smart Watch for Android Phones and iOS Phones Compatible iPhone Samsung, IP68 Swimming Waterproof Smartwatch Fitness Tracker Fitness Watch Heart Rate Monitor Watches for Men Women (Green-Gold)
  • ♥【Smart watch for Android Phones Samsung iPhone】- Compatible with most iOS 8.0 & Android 4.4 above smartphones. Download and install Free "VeryFitPro" APP, bind this smartwatch in your cell phone,you can receive alerts of calendar, SMS, incoming calls and SNS (Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and more) on this watch;It will never let you miss any important things.
  • ♥【Accurate Fitness Tracker】- Supports 9 sports such as Walking, running, bicycle , Hike, Mountaineering, Dynamic cycling, fitness, treadmill, Yoga. Accurately record all-day activities like steps, distance, calories burned, miles walked, active minutes. Can track all your workout routes, distances, and physical status during exercise. Stay motivated all day!
  • ♥【24/7 Heart Rate Monitor & Sleep Tracker】- Automatically monitor your real-time heart rate, and provide comprehensive analysis of your sleep quality (deep sleep,light sleep and wake up time) to help you develop a healthier lifestyle.
  • ♥【Waterproof Fitness Watch & Long-Lasting Battery】- Willful smart watches is designed with IP68 waterproof rating,which allows you to swim in the pool with it with no worries(NOTICE:It can not track your swimming data). Large capacity and low power consumption design offers longer endurance.It support 7 days of normal use and 30 days standby time
  • ★【More Practical Tools 】- Willful smart watch also features with many practical tools, such as alarm clocks, stopwatch, timer,deep breather guide, music controller, sedentary reminder, adjust brightness,find phone.
Bestseller No. 2
Amazfit Band 5 Fitness Tracker with Alexa Built-in, 15-Day Battery Life, Blood Oxygen, Heart Rate, Sleep Monitoring, Women’s Health Tracking, Music Control, Water Resistant, Black (Model: S2005OV1N)
  • AMAZON ALEXA BUILT-IN: Talk to Amazon Alexa on your Amazfit Band 5. Ask questions, get translations, set alarms, and timers, create shopping lists, check the weather, control your smart home devices and more.
  • BLOOD OXYGEN SATURATION MONITOR: With Amazfit Band 5 you can measure your blood oxygen saturation and understand your physical state with OxygenBeats. Ideal during high-intensity workouts and sports such as marathons and gym workouts.
  • 24/7 HEART RATE, SLEEP AND ACTIVITY TRACKER: The Amazfit Band 5 precise optical heart rate monitoring allows you to accurately track real-time steps taken, all-day heart rate monitoring, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleeping patterns.
  • 15-DAY BATTERY LIFE: Say goodbye to daily recharge. With a fully charged Amazfit Band 5, you don’t need to bring a charger for two-week trip. On a single charge, it has enough power to get you charged for 2 whole weeks mind free.
  • WOMEN’S HEALTH TRACKING: With the female period tracking system Band 5 records and predicts the female menstrual cycle and send smart notifications reminders.
Bestseller No. 3
Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Rosewood/Rosewood, One Size (S &L Bands Included)
  • Use built-in GPS to see your pace and distance on screen during outdoor runs, rides, hikes and more and see a workout intensity map in the app that shows your heart rate changes along your route
  • With Active Zone Minutes, feel a buzz when you reach your target heart rate zones during exercise, and celebrate when you earn extra minutes outside of exercise
  • Get a 90-day free trial of the Fitbit Premium to help you stay active, sleep well and manage stress. Unlock it all in the Fitbit app. (Valid payment method required. Cancel before free trial ends to avoid subscription fees. Offer valid for new Premium users only)
  • Use 24/7 heart rate to track resting heart rate & better measure calorie burn. Syncing to mobile devices requires Bluetooth LE and internet connection. Syncs with Mac OS X 12.2 and up, iPhone 5S and later, iPad 5 gen. and later, Android 7.0 and later
  • See your SpO2 nightly average and range on wrist, and view trends over the past week in the Fitbit app (SpO2 is not available in all markets. The SpO2 feature is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition or for any other medical purpose)
SaleBestseller No. 4
Lintelek Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor, Activity Tracker with Connected GPS, IP67 Waterproof Smart Fitness Band with Step Counter, Calorie Counter, Pedometer for Kids Women and Men
  • Heart Rate & Sleep Monitor: Lintelek fitness tracker monitors your heart rate all day. It tracks your sleep (awake sleep, deep sleep, awake time)at night.
  • All-day Activity Tracker: The fitness tracker can track your daily steps, calorie consumed, workout distance and time. You can see detailed data on Veryfitpro APP.
  • 14 Sport Modes: It has 14 sports modes to track the corressponding exercise. It will record your workout time, heart rate and distance. With connected GPS, it can record your workout route.
  • Call and Message Notification: You can get call,SMS messages and SNS notifications directly on your wrist(including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram).
  • USB Charge: Remove the band then plug on USB port to charge the fitness tracker. This fitness watch can be used for up to 7 days after fully charged.
Bestseller No. 5
LETSCOM Smart Watch Fitness Tracker Heart Rate Monitor Step Calorie Counter Sleep Monitor Music Control IP68 Water Resistant 1.3 Inch Color Touch Screen Activity Tracking Pedometer for Women Men
  • Large Stylish Dial Display: 1.3-inch TFT-LCD color touch screen features 4 different customizable displays, making it easier and quicker to view the time, day of the week,date, steps travelled, and calories burned, your message notifications can also be displayed straight to your device screen
  • Heart Rate Monitoring & Sleep Tracking: Automatically monitor your daily real-time heart rate, and track your sleep quality status to get a better understanding of your health
  • All-day Fitness Tracking: Accurately records your activity data such as: steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, minutes active and your weekly/monthly accumulative data, you can also see your fitness targets at a glance allowing you to easily control your rhythm of exercise, helping you to adjust and make your exercise as effective as possible
  • More Smart Functions: Music control, incoming call notifications with the option to long press to hang up, up to 10 alarm clocks, timer functionality, breathing guides, sedentary alerts, wrist sensor,target settings, all this plus the option to sync your data with Strava
  • Great Battery Life: Built with a 210mAh battery that only takes 2.5 hours to charge and can be used for up to 10 days with a standby time of 30-45 days. You can adjust the screen brightness according to your needs
SaleBestseller No. 6
YAMAY Smart Watch Fitness Tracker Watches for Men Women, Fitness Watch Heart Rate Monitor IP68 Waterproof Watch with Step Calories Sleep Tracker, Smartwatch Compatible iPhone Android Phones (Green)
  • 【Accurate Fitness Tracker Watch】- YAMAY watch will accurately track your all-day steps,calories consumption,distance traveled,heart rate.It also supports extra 7 sports modes to help you track your other exercise patterns,and will connect to smartphone's GPS to draw the route map in the related app.
  • ♥【 Smart Watches for iPhone Android Phones】- This watch is compatible with most iOS 8.0 & Android 4.4 above smartphones(not for pc or tablet).You can get call, text, calendar,email and messages alerts and read them diredctly on the watch.This watch can fit for 6.5 - 9.5 inch wrist(perimeter), suitable for men women and kids.
  • ♥【 Sleep Tracker with More Practical Tools】- This watch will auto detect and track your sleep,and analyze your sleep quality.You can easily check the data in the verfitpro app.This watch also has many pratical tools,like alarm clocks,music controller,deep breath guide,sedentary reminder,stopwatch,timer.
  • ♥【 7+ Days Battery & Swimming Waterproof】- Compared with traditional watches,YAMAY watch enhanced the battery life a lot.With one single full charge,it can work 7-10 days.This watch also has IP68 waterproof standard,you can wear it with no worries when washing hands or swimming
  • ♥【 Stay Active and Stay Healthy】- This watch has accurate readings,practical tools,stylish looks,light-weight and comfortable wearing on the wrist,buy with affordable price,being a very good gift for friends and family members to help them Stay Active and Stay Healthy
Bestseller No. 7
Weight Loss Journal: Cute Workout Log Book For Women | Funny Motivational Daily Food And Exercise Planner For Tracking Meals And Weight Loss To ... Fitness Tracker | Golden One Inch At A Time
  • Cornich, Fanzy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 102 Pages - 02/16/2021 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 8
Fitbit Inspire Fitness Tracker, One Size (S and L Bands Included)
  • Track all day activity, including steps, distance, hourly activity, active minutes and calories burned
  • Automatically track your sleep & set silent alarms that wake you by buzzing on your wrist
  • Enjoy up to 5 days of battery for daily progress without constant charging. Varies with use & other factors
  • Automatically and conveniently record workouts like walks, swimming & bike rides with smart track
  • The on screen dashboard, intuitive touchscreen & backlit display makes the inspire tracker easy to use & love. Operating temperature is -10° to 45° C
SaleBestseller No. 9
LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR, Activity Tracker Watch with Heart Rate Monitor, Waterproof Smart Fitness Band with Step Counter, Calorie Counter, Pedometer Watch for Women and Men
  • Heart Rate & Sleep Monitoring: Tracks real-time heart rate automatically & continuously and automatically tracks your sleep duration & consistency with comprehensive analysis of sleep quality data, helping you adjust yourself for a healthier lifestyle
  • All-day Activity Tracking: Accurately record all-day activities like steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes and sleep status
  • Multi-Sport Modes & Connected GPS: 14 exercise modes help you better understand specific activity data; Connect the GPS on your cellphone can show run stats like pace and distance and record a map of your workout route
  • See Calls & Messages on Your Wrist: Receive call, calendar, SMS and SNS (Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter) notifications on display; never miss the messages that matter
  • Built-in USB Plug: Easy to charge with any USB block and computer; no charging cable and dock needed; one single charge gives you up to 7 days of working time
SaleBestseller No. 10
Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker with a Free 1-Year Fitbit Premium Trial, 24/7 Heart Rate, Black/Rose, One Size (S & L Bands Included)
  • Free 1-year Fitbit Premium trial for new Premium users (Free trial may only be activated with device activation & within 60 days of device activation.
  • Earn Active Zone Minutes as you progress toward your weekly 150 minutes of heart-pumping activity and use 20 plus exercise modes to track goals like distance, calories burned and more
  • Track all-day activity: your steps, distance, hourly activity and calories burned
  • Use 24/7 heart rate to track resting heart rate & better measure calorie burn
  • Enjoy 10 days of battery life for daily progress without constant charging. Varies with use and other factors
Best Fitness Tracker for Seniors

Best Fitness Tracker for Seniors

Watch any advert for fitness trackers and you could be forgiven for thinking that they are only for hipster millennials who love technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fitness tracker manufacturers are also aiming at other markets. One of which is to create a purposeful, useful fitness tracker for seniors.

Manufactures of fitness trackers such as Fitbit, Garmin and others have realised that there is a lot of value in producing a fitness tracker for seniors. It makes sense, as people of that age are growing in number, tend to have a reasonable amount of disposable income and are increasingly engaged with their health and well-being.

Another fact, to bear in mind, is that populations around the world are living longer. Of course, as people get older it is easy to settle in to an easy life and not exercise as much as you once did. As we all know, a bad idea. Maintaining an active body is one of the most effective ways of warding of threats to your well being.

This has been noticed at government level too. It is clear that there is a direct correlation between increased age and a higher chance of getting a complex chronic illness such as diabetes, stroke or issues with your heart. As such, they are determined to do as much as they can to reduce the burden on society

There are lots of options being investigated but as far as this article is concerned we are looking at fitness tracker for seniors as a way to tackle this problem.

How can a fitness tracker for seniors help my lifestyle?

Simple. The fitness tracker allows you to track long term patterns by monitoring vitals such as blood pressure, temperature and heart rate. The act of monitoring gives you a real insight into your daily patterns of sleep and exercise. When this is coupled with the data from your fitness tracker and some form of motivational goals in the fitness trackers app it can keep you motivated. This in turn helps you achieve your health goals such as reduced blood pressure and lower weight Because you are really keeping a track of how your body is doing over time in a measured way you will be able to spot abnormal patterns. Indeed, if anything untoward does reveal itself it can then be discussed with the relevant medic professional

What are the must have characteristics in a fitness tracker for seniors?

Of course, as you get older some things such as your vision and motor skills deteriorate slightly. We have taken this into account and created what we think are the key characteristics to look out for when buying a fitness tracker for seniors

Key characteristics

  • Attractiveness – it needs to be aesthetically pleasing and well designed so that you won’t be embarrassed to show it to your friends. Ideally, it should blend well with what you are wearing
  • Easy to use – A lot of people are like my Mum and don’t want to be faffing about pressing lots of buttons to get the tracker to do something. A fitness tracker should be easy to get out to box, come with a clear set of instructions and be simple to configure both the tracker and the synching so that it can be used to the best of its capabilities 
  • Comfortable – to get the best from a fitness tracker it needs to collect a lot of data. To do this it needs to be worn all the time. It should fit or attach nicely and not cause any discomfort or distraction.
  • Large display – most people of a certain age would have grown up with normal wrist watches so a large display is familiar as well as providing the ability to see at a glance how the fitness regime is going.
  • Multiple tracking options – to give the best chance of tracking patterns the device should as a minimum track calories, sleep, heart rate and daily activity. If more options are offered even better.
  • Long battery life –  a fitness tracker loses its usefulness if it is always on charge because you will forget to wear it. A longer battery life means it will stay where it belongs tracking your activity.
  • Waterproof – swimming is quite a popular activity due its non weight bearing nature so a waterproof fitness tracker is ideal for those visits to the pool.
  • Informative – by giving clear, concise, up to date and easy to interpret views of the data the fitness tracker can use gamification to drive you towards your fitness goals
  • Top pick of fitness trackers for seniors

1. Fitbit Surge

Fitbit Surge Fitness Tracker

Fitbit Surge is another device which looks less like a fitness tracker and more like a watch which makes it ideal for the seniors market.
+ Multiple sizes and adjustable strap for comfort
+ Large screen
+ 7 day battery life, GPS tracking, heart rate monitor
Not waterproof
Pricey

Check latest price on Amazon

2. Samsung Gear Fit 2

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Fitness Tracker
A great offering from Samsung. The Gear Fit 2 is jam packed with functionality that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
+ Large display with clear legible numbers
+ Waterproof
+ Can play music
+ Integrates well with Samsung Health
+ GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring
  Needs a smartphone to get the best from the device
Battery life only 3 – 4 days
App support is sketchy

Check latest price on Amazon

3. Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3 Fitness TrackerThe Vivosmart 3 is another multi-utility watch in the Garmin lineup. It is designed to focus on your daily activities and keep you informed of how your health is progressing.
+ Small, sleek design
+ 4 – 5 day battery life
+ Smart notifications and vibration alert
+ Waterproof
+ Can change display to watch face
No interchangeable bands available
Not good for tracking swimming
No GPS

Check latest price on Amazon

4. Fitbit Blaze

Fitbit Blaze Fitness TrackerThe Fitbit Blaze is a full on smart watch with fitness capabilities. It is not an obvious choice as far as a fitness tracker for seniors but it offers several of the key characteristics:
+ Large clear LCD display
+ Long battery life
+ Looks good and like a watch, the look can also be changed with interchangeable straps
+ Tracks multiple activities and heart rate
Not waterproof
Fairly expensive

Check latest price on Amazon

Verdict

It is fair to say that the fitness tracker for seniors market has perhaps been underdeveloped. However, things are starting to look up. People, governments and society as a whole are beginning to recognise the benefit of exercising throughout your whole life. When choosing a fitness tracker it is important to understand how fitness trackers work so you can trust the data coming from then. Also, make sure to get the one that best suits you. We think that our list should give you some ideas or look for other fitness tracker that have the key characteristics.

Good luck!

Fitness Trackers – 16 Questions to Get You up to Speed

Fitness Trackers – 16 Questions to Get You up to Speed

1.Are there any waterproof fitness trackers?

The answer is yes. Not so long ago this question was a bit harder to answer. Now, there quite a few different options of waterproof fitness trackers on the market. You will need to be careful when choosing as there are subtle differences between waterproof and water resistant and you don’t want your newly acquired tracker to come to a watery end.

2.What fitness tracker can i swim with?

A waterproof fitness tracker. Check out the post on fitness trackers for swimming to get a good sense of what is available.

3.Do fitness trackers cause cancer?

This question probably stems from the still unproven claims that cell phones can cause cancer and people have grouped fitness trackers and mobiles together. As it turns out, this is an unfair comparison. Fitness trackers generally use bluetooth to communicate which is at a much lower output to cellphones and of course trackers aren’t held close to your head. The difference between cellphones and trackers is demonstrated in the video below. As such, there is currently no definitive link between fitness trackers and cancer and as the market has matured there is more evidence to support this theory.

4.What fitness tracker should I buy?

Of course, as with any purchase the answer to this really depends on what you are looking for. There are many different elements that need to be considered to help you narrow down the options. The main questions that you have to ask yourself are

a) Am I someone who is concerned with the aesthetics and the look?
b) Is a display important to me?
c) Does it need to be waterproof?
d) How long does the battery life need to be between charges?
e) Do I want to be part of a community and part of the people use the app? Which app suits me best?

We believe, that answering these questions will get you to a shortlist of fitness trackers that are right for you. You may also come up with more questions as you go to further refine your options to give you a shortlist then it is all down to personal preference. Check out our handy guide to choosing a fitness tracker to help you further

5.Do fitness trackers work on elliptical trainers?

Fitness trackers do work on elliptical trainers but the level of accuracy may not be the greatest. Some Fitbit trackers like the Fitbit Charge HR automatically recognise that you are on an elliptical trainer, detecting the motion of your wrists pulling backwards and forwards on the machines handles through the accelerometers. However, as the devices are designed primarily as pedometers you will sometimes get varying results on the actual distances covered.

6.Do fitness trackers work on treadmills?

TreadmillsYes, fitness trackers do work on treadmills but you have to be aware that fitness generally track movement by interpreting movement data sent from their accelerometers. This means, that sometimes the results you get from your tracker can vary based on how you move your arms. Overall, the results on a treadmill should be pretty accurate.

7.What fitness tracker syncs with myfitnesspal?

myfitnesspal list a number of partner services on its website. This should give you an idea of what fitness trackers sync and also give you some indication of how to set up your tracker so that it works well with myfitness pal. Itz will be somewhere along the lines of these set-up instructions for a Fitbit fitness tracker.

8.Which fitness tracker tracks cycling?

To get the best bang for your buck we would recommend moving away from a fitness tracker that tracks cycling and aim towards something that is better suited for multi-sports. This can range from the more affordable end of the market with the Moov Now complete with a band that can be placed around your ankle to tracker cadence all the way to smart watches. As the watches get more sophisticated so does there functionality so not only will you be able to track your rides but also your overall fitness and how that feeds into your ride times. In this space, some of the main contenders are the Fitbit Blaze, Garmin Forerunner series and the Polar V800.

9.Should i use a fitness tracker?

It is a good question to ask. In our opinion, the group with the most to gain from the use of a fitness tracker are those who like to track their progress and see how they are progressing towards their fitness goal. If you are somebody who wants more data and phone integration and payments you will probably need to consider going down the route of purchasing a smart watch such as the Apple Watch.

10.What does a fitness tracker do?

A fitness tracker makes use of the relationship between software, accelerometers and sensors to measure data pertaining to fitness. Typical measurements that are taken are sleep patterns, steps in day, stairs climbed and calories burned. This data is subsequently uploaded into a software application where it is compared with your own personal historic statistics or sometimes fellow users of the app you are using to analyse the data. The aim is to notice patterns over time to improve your overall fitness and increase awareness of health, mind and body. This post give some more detail about the science behind fitness trackers.

11.Which fitness trackers have gps?

See below for an idea of the current fitness trackers that have GPS capabilities:

12.What fitness trackers work with weight watchers?

Weightwatchers fans can make use of their proprietary activity tracker or trackers made by Jawbone or Fitbit.

Instructions on how to sync can be found here and bear in mind that you will need a relevant online subscription to get the full benefit.

13.How long does the battery last on a fitness tracker?

There is a large variation on how long the battery lasts on a fitness tracker. Naturally, most of that is down to the amount of bells, whistles and whizzbang features on the tracker itself. So for example something like the Samsung Gear Fit 2 or Apple Watch has to support GPS, screens etc so will weigh in around 5 days of useful life. At the other end of the scale you will get simpler devices such as the Moov Now, Fitibit Zip or Garmin Vivofit which generally have a coin like watch battery and last in the region of 6 – 12 months between charges.

14.What fitness tracker works with s health?

S health or Samsung Health in its rebranded identity is optimised to work with Samsung trackers like the Gear Fit. That being said it is compatible with other devices including iPhone and Fitbit trackers but the functionality is more limited.

15.Where to buy fitness trackers?

This one is easy and concise. Fitness trackers are available at Amazon as well as in the majority of supermarkets and sports outlets. My advice would be to check out reviews, understand why and what you want a fitness tracker for and seek out the best one you can afford either on-line or in store.

16.What fitness tracker is used on biggest loser?

If you are a fan of the biggest loser you may have seen some of the participants wearing a tracker, such as Chandra in this video.

For those that are interested it is a Garmin vivofit of which there is a biggest loser edition on Amazon. Of course, more than likely it is featured by virtue of product placement, so it isn’t necessarily the best device out there.

How Do Fitness Trackers Measure Sleep?

How Do Fitness Trackers Measure Sleep?

How do fitness trackers measure sleep

I know for a fact that if I get a good night’s sleep I feel ready for the day ahead. However, I would like to know more; about my sleep and often find myself wondering how do fitness trackers measure sleep.

Indeed, as time goes, research is beginning to show that sleeping well is a massive part of maintaining a fit and healthy body. In fact, recent research has shown that lack of sleep can appear to have the same affects as being drunk or make you crave fatty calorific foods. Knowing this, the manufacturers of fitness trackers decided early on that sleep tracking was of great benefit. We are going to delve further and take a look at the science behind sleep tracking to help us understand how do fitness trackers measure sleep.

A brief science of sleep

It is a fascinating topic which in simple terms, sleep can be broken down into 2 phases. Firstly NREM (non rapid eye movement), followed by REM (rapid eye movement). Each one of these can then be further broken down into 3 phases of NREM sleep, followed by 1 NREM phase taking you all the way from when you go to sleep to just before you wake.

During each phase of sleep there are differing levels of brain activity, eye movement, breathing, blood pressure and muscle tension. Fascinating stuff and you can find a more in depth analysis here.

Those in the business of sleep research have agreed on a technique known as polysomnography to measure sleep. This is performed in lab conditions and requires the attachment of multiple wires to the subject undergoing the study to measure multiple channels of data. Clearly, this isn’t practical for a daily use fitness tracker and a different technique was required.

How do fitness trackers measure sleep

Numerous fitness on the market come with sleep tracking functionality and some even claim that they are able to track how long you spend in the different phases of sleep. The question is how?

According to Fitbit and the makes of the Mi band app the ability to measure sleep comes from the fitness tracker’s accelerometers. The software in the tracker detects movements, speed and direction of the accelerometer. If no movement is detected for a certain period of time, let’s say an hour an assumption is made that you are asleep. This is a technique know as actigraphy, each manufacturer will have  a proprietary algorithm to interpret the data. The results will be the ability to provide details of how long you sleep, when you were restless and even when you are awake

However, even with all these goodies, according to the experts this method of tracking sleep is prone to inaccuracies and people should not come to rely on any fitness tracker that tracks sleep. Aware of these criticisms Fitbit and others are putting more effort into improving the sleep tracking aspects and the Fibit Inspire 2 is adding the input from the heart rate monitor to help identify what phase of sleep you are currently in.

Verdict

In our view, fitness trackers that measure sleep are useful to view long term patterns of your sleep and get a feeling for your sleeping habits but they should not be relied on. If you feel that you are suffering from any form of sleeping disorder seek the advice of a medical professional

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